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Overtransfusion in the Operating Room

AMA Arch Surg. 1960;80(5):843-845. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1960.01290220135016.
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Just as blood transfusion was heralded two decades ago as a life-saving procedure and a boon to lengthy and complicated operations, today the hazards of overtransfusion are becoming better recognized, and blood as a life-saving substance is being viewed increasingly as also a potential vehicle of complication and death. Previous measures of control have also recently been subject to correction. Peden1 recently demonstrated volume studies which contradict the current concept of "chronic shock" due to hypovolemia and reveal that some underweight patients have hypervolemia and that preoperative transfusions calculated on an attempt to bring blood volume up to original weight levels can produce fatal right cardiac failure.

LeVeen and co-workers2 have recently reported on "transfusion arrest," emphasizing that the rapid return of blood loss (as under pressure) is not without danger. Ionizable calcium is always absent in citrated blood and old blood has high potassium content. This combination,


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